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Given the massive box office for The Expendables 2 this weekend, it's no surprise that rumors of a third installment are flying everyone, and even the film's cast and producers have been suggesting names right and left for who ought to join the action next time. But if the pattern from the first two films holds, we've got two years before The Expendables 3 comes to theaters, and almost as much time to speculate about who ought to appear, even if in a cameo role. While the second movie does boast an impressive lineup of once-and-future badasses, they're not even close to including every person to ever commandingly hold a gun on screen.
So with that in mind, we've got 5 suggestions about who ought to take a role in The Expendables 3, and why they would fit in perfect with the world established by Sly and company. Obviously this is just the beginning of the speculation, so hop into the comments to tell us who else you'd add to the lineup-- and hope that Stallone or someone else in charge is listening.
So John Rambo, Dutch and John McClane get together for a gun-wielding homage to ’80s action excess and they don’t invite Martin Riggs? To quote the brilliant Vizzini: “Inconceivable!” Say what you will about Mel Gibson’s personal behavior. His terrifying temper and hatred for … well, pretty much everybody has turned him into persona non grata in Hollywood. But if we were lobbying for a Mount Rushmore of iconic action heroes, Gibson’s face would be carved in stone alongside Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis – and he’d be so far ahead of Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris on a list of potential co-stars.
In reality, there’d be no list without Gibson’s searing portrayal of suicidal L.A. detective Riggs in the Lethal Weapon movies. And there’s even a work-around here that can make his role in a potential third Expendables possible. Cast him as a villain. Force him to die a horrible on-screen death. Make sure he’s in on the ironic nature of the joke. So long as Zach Galifianakis isn’t demanding Gibson’s removal, The Expendables 3 could become the comeback vehicle “Mad” Mel has been looking for.
Thus far, The Expendables franchise has done a great job casting many of the most physically intimidating movie stars of the past few decades. Unfortunately, this has left many of the most verbally intimidating movie stars of the past few decades on the cutting room floor. I know there’s something to be said for silent and brutal, but during round three, it would be nice to see someone deliver memorable fuck you’s without using his fists. No one does that better than Joe Pesci.
It’s all in the attitude. Guys like Sly and Jason Statham might be able to solve arguments using their fists, but more often than not, Pesci avoids the hassle by solving it with his mouth. Now and again, he’ll beat the living shit out of someone, as the dude from Goodfellas found out, but in general, he’d rather do emotional damage. Expendables 3 needs a guy like that. It needs a mouthpiece to speak for the other characters, and someone to engage us on a level that doesn’t involve right hooks. It needs a man who is legitimately funny. We all know Pesci is capable of being that man, at least as long as no one implies he’s a clown.
Katey recently detailed the flaws in Expendables 2's attempt at bringing a woman into the mix, but Sigourney Weaver isn't any woman. She was Ripley, a heroine so fierce that she battled and bested the perfect predator in four separate Alien movies. Weaver not only changed the action landscape with her portrayal of a woman who wasn't defined by her gender, but by her will to survive, she also became the lady badass to which all action heroines would be compared. If she could handle those acid-spitting fanged monsters, I think she could handle whatever Stallone's crew could throw her way.
Though she's now 62, Weaver still proves a force to be reckoned with, oozing authority and doling out smackdowns with cameo appearances in the 2011's Paul and 2012's The Cabin In the Woods. You know she'd nail a cameo in Expendables 3, much like Willis did in the first one. And like him, this could pave the way for a bigger role in a future installment. And I mean, if the guy from Predator got a spot on The Expendables team, why not the gal from Alien for the action showdown that has been decades in the making?
Wesley Snipes’ inclusion in The Expendables franchise is a no brainer and if it wasn’t for Passenger 57’s willful failure to file federal income tax returns, an appearance in the series might have come well before this rumored third installment. The actor isn’t eligible for duty until July 19, 2013 - his release date from McKean Federal Correctional Institution - but that might be just enough time for, if pattern serves, him to get in front of a camera as part of an Expendables 3 that could hit theaters the following summer.
Who knows, Blade could be in some of the best shape of his life with three years in a medium security Pennsylvania prison behind him. And just seeing the double black belt (Karate and Hapkido) back being a badass on the big-screen, especially with, or once again against, his Demolition Man co-star Sylvester Stallone, would alone be worth one more go round for the old guys. One of the biggest action stars of the 90s, Wesley Snipes reportedly had to surrender the role of Hale Caesar to Terry Crews in The Expendables but I’m sure they can come up with another ridiculously named character for him to come play... King T'Chaka?
For two movies The Expendables franchise has been all about actors who made their names as tough guys decades ago, trying to make it work one last time. But how about including an actor who reached his gray-haired years well before he starting kicking ass on screen? Liam Neeson surprised pretty much everyone with his hard-charging performance in 2009's Taken, and since then has followed one of the screen's most unlikely career change-ups, fighting wolves in The Grey, commanding orders in Battleship, and soon to stomp all over European baddies in Taken 2.
And this is the guy who starred in Schindler's List! And Les Miserables! He's a better actor hands down than anyone else who's been in an Expendables movie so far, and could bring his awesome gravitas along with his aged muscles to a third go-round, maybe as the morally conflicted soul of the team that's usually way too content to shed blood and move on. Stallone and company all seemed pretty chummy in Expendables 2-- why not toss Neeson into the mix as a new recruit, and a guy who convinces them to up their game and start playing by the morally conflicted rules of 21st century action? OK, OK, he can also teach them to punch wolves too.